Search Engine Dictionary: A complete guide to search engine terminology

 

 

 

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Q

query

A keyword, group of keywords or phrase, with or without special instructions like Boolean operators, used in a search. In simpler terms, it is that which the user enters into the search box. It is what the search engine compares documents to in order to return only relevant documents.

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query-by-example / find similar

Many search engines have a "find similar" feature that allows users to request documents the search engine considers similar to the document the user specifies.

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query expansion / search within results

The process of basing a new query on an old one. Many search engines allow users to "search within these results".

Additional Information:
The process of adding similar words to a query in such a way that recall and precision improve. Expansion is done mostly in the background using thesauri or other linguistic resources.

Additional Information Added - Aug 4, 2003
by Bert Paepen of
www.omnipaper.org

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quote(s)

When used in a search, the quote marks ' " ' tell most systems that you only want to see matches that are exactly like what you are asking for. For example, a search for 'electric light', entered without the single quotes, will return much different results than "electric light" entered with the quotes as shown.

Added - May 31, 2003
by Christian Nielsen of
www.nielsentech.com

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